The countdown to Christmas Day is on and it’s time to start ticking off names from the long list of gifts you need to buy.
This year I decided to create a guide for Nottingham gifts and take the opportunity to shine a spotlight on some of the fantastic local independent businesses in the city.
From dedicated gift stores to local experiences and foodie gift vouchers, this blog post contains a wide range of gift ideas for all your Christmas shopping needs.
Whether it’s a ‘gift for her’ or a ‘gift for him’ that you’re looking for, I’ve got you covered!
Why shop local and independent?
Independent business is at the heart of any city.
All those unique gift shops and quirky coffee shops that you won’t find in any other city or country in the world are what gives Nottingham its vibrant culture and character, but, as the economic climate worsens, the number of local independent businesses is in steep decline.
At Christmastime, it’s easy to resort to the usual shopping destinations, especially when retail giants like Amazon offer budget prices and same day delivery. However, the hundreds of pounds you spend on presents every year are nothing more than negligible drops in the ocean to Jeff Bezos and his billions.
When you shop with independents instead, you have the chance to make a real impact on the lives of the people and families behind these businesses, as well as give your support to our local community.
This blog post isn’t intended to shame anyone who can’t afford to shop independent this Christmas, but instead encourage you to think of independent businesses and local venues first when searching for gift ideas in Nottingham during the festive period.
NOTTINGHAM GIFT STORES
The Tokenhouse — 4-6 St Peter’s Gate, Nottingham, NG1 2JG
The number one gift shop in Nottingham! From candles and mugs to notebooks and jewellery, the Tokenhouse has gifts for every person on your Christmas list. This independent gem has been providing local folk with gift ideas for nearly 50 years and counting.
Handmade — 8 King’s Walk, Nottingham, NG1 2AE
If you love quirky gifts, Handmade is the shop for you. There’s an assortment of wonderful items, such as David Bowie socks and fun tote bags, plus Nottingham-inspired home accessories and apparel. Shopping online? You can handily sort gifts by price to keep things within budget.
No.41 Style & Home — 41 Trent Boulevard, West Bridgford, Nottingham, NG2 5BB
Pay a visit to this Lady Bay boutique in West Bridgford and enjoy a 200 Degrees coffee while you shop. This small business is boutique and café combined — you can browse the fabulous collection of accessories, handbags and beauty & wellbeing products, then relax in the café when you’re done.
Books from Five Leaves Bookshop — 14a Long Row, Nottingham, NG1 2DH
Before you head to Waterstones to find a gift for your favourite bookworm, check out Nottingham’s longest standing independent book store instead. There are page turners of all varieties on sale, including non-fiction titles and poetry anthologies as well as fiction.
Jewellery from Bonearrow — Sneinton Market, Unit 35 Avenue C, Nottingham, NG1 1DW
Bonearrow sells handmade jewellery for ‘witches, weirdos and misfits’. This Hockley-based independent recently released a mini gift guide, which categorises their statement pieces by recipient. With rings from as little as £20, it’s definitely worth a browse.
Houseplants from Sap Plants — Nottingham Contemporary, Weekday Cross, Nottingham, NG1 2GB
Sap Plants is every plant parent’s dream. For lush and leafy gifts, shop online or pick your plant in person from the gorgeous plant wall at Nottingham Contemporary. If you know someone who likes plants but struggles to keep them alive, why not buy a terrarium, a self-sufficient alternative to the house plant.
Children’s clothes from Snuggles & Kisses — 39b Chilwell Road, Beeston, Nottingham, NG9 1EN
Beeston boutique Snuggles & Kisses sells handmade clothes for babies and children. The products are always high quality and, more importantly, extremely adorable! This store also sells books and toys, in addition to slogan tees and hoodies for mums.
Sustainable, handmade fashion from Made Rebekah Peters — online
Talented local design Rebekah has taken inspiration from Maria von Trapp and built a business on crafting beautiful dresses, jumpsuits and other fashionable garments from vintage curtains. She also takes custom orders if it’s a truly one-of-a-kind design you’re after.
FOOD AND DRINK GIFTS
Craft beer from Brew Cavern — 9 Flying Horse Walk, Nottingham, NG1 2HN
It’s 2022, which means we all have a boyfriend, dad or uncle who has made drinking craft beer a fundamental part of their personality. Whether you prefer your beer brewed locally, nationally or internationally, Brew Cavern in Nottingham city centre stocks an extensive range of specialty beer, including hard to find brews from across the world.
Vegan chocolate from Luisa’s — Sneinton Market, Unit 7 Avenue A, Nottingham, NG1 1DT
This vegan-friendly business produces the highest quality, bean-to-bear chocolate. Luisa’s growing reputation for exceptional vegan chocolate recently went global, with her products now stocked in Selfridge’s. Although it’s Luisa’s dark chocolate that is most acclaimed, her ‘Casholate’ (made from cashew nuts) is among the best chocolate I’ve ever tasted.
Afternoon tea from Josephine’s — 49 Upper Parliament Street, Nottingham, NG1 2AB
I love going for afternoon tea with friends or family and local tea lounge and bistro Josephine’s offers one of the tastiest in Nottingham. This traditional, vintage-style tearoom also serves breakfast, lunch and dinner if you’re more of a savoury than sweet person. You can buy gift vouchers for Josephine’s online.
Brunch at the Pudding Pantry — 27-29 Trinity Square, Burton Street, Nottingham, NG1 4AF
The Pudding Pantry is famed for its sensational sweet treats and hearty Full English breakfasts. Pancakes are my all-time favourite brunch dish, so naturally the Pudding Pantry has been my favourite place to brunch in Notts ever since it opened its first store back in 2014. Gift vouchers start at £10.
Lasagne at Lombardo’s — 142 Hucknall Road, Carrington, Nottingham, NG5 1FA
The lasagne at Lombardo’s lasagneria is hands down the best in Nottingham. Save yourself the cost of plane tickets to Italy with a trip to this small independent restaurant in Carrington. It’s the perfect date night location with a cosy, intimate vibe and warm, welcoming staff. Purchase a gift voucher via Instagram or pop into the restaurant.
Greek tapas at Yamas Meze & Tapas — 5 Thurland Street, Nottingham, NG1 3DR
Yamas is the first place I ever went for tapas in Nottingham and to this day it remains one of my favourites. The atmosphere at this family-run restaurant is unbeatable, especially on a busy weekend. Give the gift of Greek cuisine with a gift voucher, starting from £10.
Hampers, cheese and wine from Delilah’s Fine Foods — 12 Victoria Street, Nottingham, NG1 2EX
If you enjoy being creative, why not create your own Christmas hamper to gift to someone special? Nottingham deli and café Delilah’s Fine Foods has a store full of tasty products you could include, such as different cheeses, festive deli items, various wines and Nottingham distilled gin. If you like the idea of a hamper but lack the creativity or time for DIY, Delilah’s also sell a number of ready-made Christmas hampers.
Indian food at Calcutta Club — 8-10 Maid Marian Way, Nottingham, NG1 6HS
Widely regarded as the top Indian restaurant in Nottingham, Calcutta Club is the place to dine when you’re craving a curry. Gift vouchers start from just £10 and there’s a dedicated vegan menu that is also renowned in the local area.
Spanish tapas at ViDa by Lorentes — 47 Stoney Street, Nottingham, NG1 1LX
ViDa by Lorentes promises and delivers authentic tapas and paellas for fans of Spanish cuisine to enjoy. This Hockley gem is easily overlooked when you’re passing by, but the delicious dishes served in this underground tapas restaurant deserve to be shouted about. Contact ViDa to buy a gift voucher.
Handmade chocolates from Studio Chocolate — 3a Cobden Chambers, Pelham Street, Nottingham, NG1 2ED
Studio Chocolate has all the magic and creativity of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory but with far better customer service and less aggressive staff. While the shop does lack a chocolate river, Studio Chocolate makes up for it with the most beautiful hand-painted chocolates in flavours as creative as the designs. There’s also hot chocolate bombs, delightfully fudgy brownies, fairytale themed chocolate bars and even a chocolate care package.
Chocolate making workshop at Studio Chocolate
Who better to learn the art of chocolate making from than the expert chocolatiers at Nottingham’s artisan chocolate shop Studio Chocolate? As mentioned, this Nottingham independent has plenty of delicious gifts to buy, but it also offers a range of chocolate-making workshops, from beginner friendly to masterclasses for the more advanced.
Jewellery making workshop at Nottingham Jewellery School
Make unique and beautiful pieces of jewellery with a friend or relative. This is definitely one of the more expensive options on this list but it’s guaranteed to be a memorable gift for the right person. There’s a variety of workshops from half day sessions to six week courses and even an adult & teen workshop that involves making stamped rings together.
Centrepiece or coaster workshop at AWN Design Studio
I first discovered AWN Design Studio after falling in love with the tables they designed for uber cool, city centre coffee shop Effy. Creative director Hannah runs workshops from her Sneinton-based studio space, showing people how to make their own coasters and centrepieces. Workshop dates for 2023 are yet to be announced but you can buy a workshop voucher that’s valid for a year from purchase.
Wine tasting at Hanwell Wine Estate
Know a wine connoisseur? This wine tasting experience could be the perfect treat for a discerning palate, complete with vineyard tour, talk and wine tastings at Hanwell Wine Estate in Melton Mowbray. The family-run business behind this estate started back in the 1970s and has its roots in the Nottinghamshire village of Costock.
Theatre trip to Nottingham Playhouse
Theatre tickets can be surprisingly affordable, especially if your only experience to date has been forking out for the panto each year. For example, you can buy two tickets to see The Beekeeper of Aleppo in February for less than £20! Plays aren’t the only entertainment on the programme at the Playhouse, you’ll also find comedy shows and live music performances.
Terrarium workshop with Sap Plants
Build your own terrarium with the expert guidance of Nottingham plant enthusiast and Sap Plants owner Chan. At £50 for a workshop, it’s one of the pricier gift ideas on this list, but if you have a partner or best friend who really loves plants, this experience could be worth the extra pennies.
Membership at Broadway Cinema
An annual membership for Nottingham’s biggest independent cinema Broadway is an ideal gift for a film buff. For £35, your lucky gift recipient will get 12 months of discounted tickets, monthly 2-4-1 ticket offers, two free tickets for a film of their choosing and a variety of other perks!
Live jazz show at Peggy’s Skylight
Enjoy the smooth sound of jazz at Nottingham’s dedicated jazz club Peggy’s Skylight. There’s a tasty Middle Eastern menu too if you’re looking to make a proper night of it with dinner as well as entertainment. Musicians have already been announced for late December and January.